Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

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    drmatz
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    Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by drmatz on Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:55 pm

    hi guys,

    I was browsing thru ebay last night and came across this auction...
    guy is asking quite a bit for the smock, he claims to be rhodesian, i spoke to him and he was nice and gave me an explanation...
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/171675318504?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
    WW2 RHODESIAN CAMO DENISON SMOCK- RARE CAMO-RHODESIAN ARMY-BRITISH ARMY-NAMED !


    here is a couple of pics of his smock...






    and here is his message to me...
    "I am the main contributor to TIGER PATTERNS, and the founder of VMX-1, the oldest piece of tiger ever seen to this day(1957). I had WORLD CAMOFLAGE UNIFORMS in 70s-80s-90s in SHOTGUN NEWS. Collecting since '67.Very little I havn't seen. I sold mint-new Rhod uniforms by the boxload back in the 80s,and everything you could dream of. Very glad to see another smock.Pretty simple; Rhod old-style rocker tabs are what ID this to start and old pips,and wings.Look up the guys name-serial number is right there,no brainer really. Got this from an old ww2 vet who told me it was ww2,acted like it was no big deal,$75.Upon serious inspection, really something about it. It is a Denison for sure.Rank pips,wings,rocker tabs are correct to the period , and we know the Rhod contribution to Britain in ww2. Was hoping someone would have one and more info, but at least we have the guys name and serial number,wich may not be enough either. Sure looks right though. Look at my other stuff too,some great Rhod stuff like my HALO suit and silver bar,etc.  Keep in touch, and send me some pics of yours here,best. A Roy"

    now has anyone ever heard, or seeing anything like it? Can this really be rhodesian? the smock cut is definitely british and the quality resembles other military smock...
    Now this smock is not as unique as he is claiming, i know Vonstuck has one and i have another... Ours are a lot newer than his, actually they are in mint condition...






    Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated... Im starting to think this is not a commercial smock after all, although not WW2, maybe it was trialed, or supplied to really small units of the british army serving in africa, or rhodesian army during 60's or 70's...

    thanks in advance


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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by koalorka on Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:02 pm

    He's claiming it's a WW2 smock? Those are some pretty fantastic claims, which are frankly unacceptable. 

    Even ignoring the camouflage, the smock is only vaguely similar to second pattern war-time Denisons. The buttons are made of a modern type of plastic, whereas genuine Denison's used more primitive phenol resin or Bakelite-style plastic, not to mention the hardware on genuine smocks was made from brass (including the zipper) and made use of metal snap fasteners instead of buttons.

    The technology of the smock dates it to the 70s in my opinion, and my feeling is that it was made for some obscure user, if I had to guess - some state like Bahrain?

    Not to mention his other stuff is badly misidentified - like the regular Pattern 59 Denison, which he calls a "rare experimental survivor", and priced at $1450 no less, and two very peculiar "Soviet" uniforms.

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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by drmatz on Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:46 pm

    hi raff, thanks a lot for the comments... I agree with you, this is NOT WW2 for sure and i knew from the beginning, but the rhodesian patches did confused me... and 70's are a much closer date to it than 40's...
    Now is a good point you bring and middle east could be a better direction... many countries were trained and supplied by the brits and this could be a trial smock never adopted... the colors and weight of the smock is a lot more suitable for desert regions...

    cheers


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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by drmatz on Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:13 pm

    just found an interesting article on the web...
    Rhodesian troops did serve in the middle east and in the Suez channel in the post WW2... so maybe this could be a rhodeisan soldier wearing some middle eastern camouflage... really just a guess...
    here is the article for those interested...

    http://www.rhodesia.nl/terrzam.htm


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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by Martin on Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:14 pm

    As far as I know Richard Dennis Johnson was the author and main contributor of Tiger Patterns, not A Roy.

    A lot of his items look dodgy... he's selling mouse traps for $500... and a ripstop pair of DCUs with a 1977 tag....?

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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by drmatz on Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:24 pm

    hi martim, thanks for your comments
    yes a lot of dodgy items in his sales and i agree he is not the expert he is claiming to be (i understood he helped Richard Johnson, but people love to talk, maybe he provided a few uniforms or pics for the book)... Also his smock and mine are not exact the same, his looks to be older and slight different cut and colors, but same pattern and pretty much the same... so mine is possibly from 70's and his maybe early 60's... (the earliest)


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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by Camo_fiend on Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:48 pm

    You know what this means? If you ever sell yours you can *easily* start bidding at around $17,500! Twice the condition, twice the price, yeah? Laughing Laughing

    That's a fantastic patterned smock. Have never seen it before, but I really like that colouration. Very vibrant.


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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by drmatz on Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:07 pm

    hi ben, funny i thought something similar... if i made 10% of what he is asking for it would be already amazing... (not that i think is worth that...)


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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:43 pm

    I ran into his listings this weekend too. His descriptions smell of exaggeration and/or fiction for promotional reasons. Still he has some nice stuff even if the prices are ridiculous.

    I can see this being some sort of limited/private item for Rhodesia. The area is quite arid and so this sort of camo would probably do pretty well there. The link to British companies and patterns is also explainable. But I don't know squat beyond that Very Happy

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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:57 pm

    koalorka wrote:
    Not to mention his other stuff is badly misidentified - like the regular Pattern 59 Denison, which he calls a "rare experimental survivor", and priced at $1450 no less, and two very peculiar "Soviet" uniforms.

    It's a nice Pat 59, even if totally overpriced and badly described. Also a nice Kazakh uniform and what I'm pretty sure is a fairly rare Philippines set. Again, good pieces that are totally overpriced and wrongly identified. Sad to see.

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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by zvez on Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:39 pm

    I spent a lot of time in Rhodesia in the late 70s during the war and a number of trips to Independent zimbabwe. and started collecting Rhodesian stuff in the early 70s. The very first camo they used was a jacket with basically same pattern as later Rhod stuff, initially coming out only as a jacket and hat, the colors were radically differnt but side by side to standard Rhod. stuff the heritage is clear.

    Also, hitting all the shops during the war like Feredays and some of the tailors that provided non issue stuff (fyi, camo was extremely tightly regulated during the war). Never saw anything remotely like this. SO I'm skeptical it ever came close to RHodesia.

    The para wing is most assuredly NOT Rhodesian which were all characterized by a black line thru each wing, even on a very early example I had from the 50-60 this was present


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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:27 pm

    Looks like the para wings on the jacket are wool and severely moth eaten. The RHODESIA flashes also look to be wool and moth eaten. So whatever they are, it appears they have been on there a very long time.

    And correction to my previous post. The nice "Soviet" uniform he has for sale is Uzbek, not Kazakh. Not that anybody here thought differently Very Happy Just felt like correcting that boo-boo.

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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by Martin on Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:36 am

    Could be a movie prop - unlikely but something not to discount.

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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by zvez on Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:03 am

    fyi the Rhodesian made jump wings from the 50s-60s were also wool prior to the later and more frequently encountered fabric wings. But the Rhod wings all have the characteristic black line thru each wing.

    CollectinSteve wrote:Looks like the para wings on the jacket are wool and severely moth eaten.  The RHODESIA flashes also look to be wool and moth eaten.  So whatever they are, it appears they have been on there a very long time.

    And correction to my previous post.  The nice "Soviet" uniform he has for sale is Uzbek, not Kazakh.  Not that anybody here thought differently Very Happy  Just felt like correcting that boo-boo.

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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by drmatz on Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:08 pm

    Thanks everybody for the help and input.

    So i think we can all agree this is not rhodesian...
    Since we cant confirm what is is is easier to narrow it down to what is NOT...

    Im starting to believe if this jacket is real, is probably middle eastern... but i was already told is not Saudi, not Qatari and not UAE...

    a few suggestions ranged from Bahrein, Jordan and Oman.. The fact his jacket is patched and marked, indicates it might have being used, maybe by british personnel training middle eastern armies... in any case all a speculation at this point.

    Martin, i thought about movie prop, but discarded the idea due to the fact the jackets do have a large age gap... which means they were produced in different runs and different years... i think his jacket (the old patched) is from 60's and mine is 70's and up... but you never know...

    cheers


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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by Martin on Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:46 am

    What about Malawi - link to British, Rhodesia etc...?

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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by drmatz on Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:58 am

    hi martim,

    i think that is a very good guess, that would definitely link everything... Now we only need some evidence of usage Smile
    and that would bring the smock back to africa...

    thanks for the insight


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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by filupe on Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:54 pm

    What about early South African? Not so much of a jump to think that Rhodie personnel may have procured SA items? This may have pre-dated the SA Hunter stuff perhaps ... ? I've seen a similar smock up for sale before with other SA stuff so I too also believe in a strong Southern African connection ...

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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by drmatz on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:19 pm

    hi filupe, nice to hear from you it's being a while...

    I dont discard anything, but we have some very knowledgeable south african collectors around here and i would think somebody would either have seeing one or at least had an idea... besides i dont think my jacket pre-dates those early hunters group stuff... But moving the item back to souther africa makes sense... So far the 3 best guesses for me are Commercial/private purchase, Malawi/South african and now a little more distant bahrein...
    thanks for your input and if you have pics of other similar jackets that would be nice to compare...


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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by zvez on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:47 pm

    looking at it again, I think it's pretty much a tarted up piece. I'd be surprised if this were an issue item by any country, with the breadth of knowledge on the forum it would seem unlikely for something like this to be unknown.
    The pips are completely wrong as well and look modern era. Even UK pips were wool backed in 40s -50s, these are clearly not and they actually have a bit of shine suggesting polyester.

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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by drmatz on Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:09 pm

    hi Zves, yes i had a lot of "wishful" thinking in this one... I think commercial is probably the best bet... i just was intrigued after that ebay auction, although his jacket is "wrong" doesnt seem like a commercial item to me... but some people do go to extremes to fake an item...
    And i agree with the assertion that there's a lot of knowledgeable guys here who at this point would have seeing or known something about it... but than again we keep finding and classifying new things every once in a while.. So chances are getting slimmer, but not completely discarded...
    here are more detailed photos of my jacket, i think is pure cotton, but im not an expert




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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by vintageproductions on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:31 pm

    That sellers claims on some of his Vietnam related items are also very out there.
    When you ask questions he goes into attack mode instantly. Then when you prove something isn't what he says he backs down very fast and stops responding.


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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:56 am

    I know the type well, unfortunately. For a long time I presumed that people spinning tales were simply repeating BS that came with the item. I'd email them and try to help them even if I wasn't interested in the item. Far too often I got "thanks, but I like my story better so I'm not going to change my tune" type responses. I now rarely bother any more.

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    Re: Unknown Lizard - Rhodesian?

    Post by drmatz on Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:25 pm

    Yes most people dont like being corrected...
    I used to try to help people as well.. i remember back in the days where multicam was still very hard to come by and prices were upt to the roof, specially the CRYE stuff. Now a lot of people were labeling simple DCU uniforms as multicam either to attract interest or just they didnt know any better... and as soon i would tell them this is not a multicam... the defensive responses started.

    I changed my approach after that, instead of starting with hey you are wrong type of message, to Hey great item, but maybe this is something else... it works better, but people are just nicer rarely they change their description. This guys comes off to me like his being doing this since late 70's and how much rhodesian stuff has gone thru his hands,yet half his stuff is mislabeled or just wrong... and the prices...
    He was nice, but he didnt change his description even after i said several times the item is not WW2... he is waiting for someone who has no idea and has the money to spend.. but i dont think anybody will put that type of money in something so far out wrong.

    in the meanwhile no news about the smock Sad




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